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Ryedale Group 1 star Mayson bids to double score at Haydock
Mayson, Ryedale’s only Group 1 winner of the season, bids to double his score at Haydock on Saturday.
The trip across the Pennines for the Malton colt, who is to be retired as a stallion to Newmarket’s Cheveley Park Stud at the end of the campaign, is to take in the Betfred Sprint Cup.
The Richard Fahey -trained four-year-old has not been seen since running out an emphatic five-length winner of the Darley July Cup at Newmarket for owner-breeders David and Emma Armstrong, who reared Mayson by hand after his dam died of cancer when he was just a few months old.
Mayson has been a revelation this season. Three times he has gone to Newmarket, and three times he has been successful.
Initially, it was in Listed company in the Abernant Stakes in April. The following month, he stepped up to Group 3 class to gain an encore in the Palace House Stakes, and, in July, he totally dominated on heavy ground in the July Cup to provide Fahey and jockey Paul Hanagan with their first Group 1 wins in Britain.
Since then, Cheveley Park have purchased a majority share in Mayson, with a view to racing him until the end of this season and then standing him at stud.
A second Group 1 success on Saturday would therefore enhance the stallion prospects of the speedster, whose career earnings stand at £350,000.
Fahey could not be happier with Mayson. “He worked really well last week and is in very good form,” he said.
“The two races we had in mind for him were the Nunthorpe at York and the Haydock Sprint Cup, and rather than drop him back to five furlongs at York, we were always keener to keep him at six and go to Haydock this weekend.”
Opposition to Mayson on Saturday will be predictably fierce. The Australian challenger, Ortensia, winner of the Nunthorpe, is firmly on course, as is Bated Breath, last year’s Sprint Cup winner.
There is plenty at stake as Mayson aims to fly the Ryedale flag in Group 1 company for a second time.
• Haajes, one of the stalwarts of Paul Midgley’s Westow yard, resumed winning ways at Hamilton last week.
It may have only been in claiming company, but the evergreen eight-year-old was winning his 11th race from a career spanning 82 races and with prize money won of £85,000.
Partnered by Micky Fenton, Haajes went off the 7-4 favourite and was always doing enough to hold at bay his market rival, Arganil, trained by Kevin Ryan.
A trip to Doncaster next week could now await Haajes, who scored at the corresponding St Leger meeting 12 months ago.
Hamilton proved a happy hunting ground for the Ryedale fraternity. Norton jockey Tom Eaves rode a double on Legal Bid, for Bryan Smart, and A Southside Boy, trained by Jim Goldie, while Jake Butterfield, attached to Ollie Pears’ Norton yard, rode a winner for his former boss, Brian Ellison, aboard Star Kingdom.
• John Quinn has few peers when it comes to switching horses from Flat to hurdles and the Norton trainer may have another potential money-spinner on his hands in Red Tyke.
The three-year-old, twice a winner on the level, made his debut over hurdles at Market Rasen on Saturday and duly made a triumphant bow in the same race Quinn had captured last season with Royal Bonsai.
Considering Countrywide Flame, who went on to win last season’s Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham, also cut his hurdling teeth with an early Market Rasen success, Red Tyke is worth following.
• It’s the annual The Press Family Raceday at York on Sunday and, yet again, it’s a meeting not to be missed.
York’s only Sunday meeting of the year, again supported by The Press, our sister paper in York, will feature seven throughbred races, including a new valuable Listed sprint, two pony races and a host of family entertainment. Trainers to look out for include Tim Easterby – fresh from a treble at Carlisle last week – and David O’Meara, who have both notched seven Knavesmire winners already this season.